Facebook allows for 2 networking tools:

  1. Creating/ joining a Facebook group;
  2. Creating/ joining a Facebook fan page.

While the major differences become evident only after you try out them first, we decided to create and promote both for Search Engine Journal:


Now what we have found from this experiment..

First and foremost the 2 major differences include:

  1. Unlike groups, fan pages are visible to unregistered people and are thus indexed (important for reputaion management, for example);
  2. Unlike pages, groups allow to send out “bulk invite” (you can easily invite all your friends to join the group while with pages you will be forced to drop some invites manually). Groups are thus better for viral marketing, meaning that any group member can also send bulk invites to the friends of his.

Now let’s go into some details:

Key Feature Facebook PageFacebook Group
“Ugly” URLsNoYes
Hosting a discussionYesYes
Discussion wall, and discussion forumYesYes
Extra applications addedYesNo
Messaging to all membersYes (via updates)Yes (via PMs)
Visitor statisticsYes (“Page insights”)No
Video and photo public exchangeYesYes
“Related” event creation and invitationYesNo
Promotion with social adsYes (never tried it)No

To conclude: